We noted earlier that President Obama has expressed concern
about the chilling effects his own administration has caused on investigative reporting by aggressively spying on journalists reporting on government actions, even to the point of accusing some of being co-conspirators and/or using the Espionage Act against whistleblowers and reporters. That seemed weird enough already, but one point that was even stranger deserves to be called out separately. In asking for a review of the administration's policy, Obama has asked Attorney General Eric Holder to run that review. And that's ridiculous. It's asking Eric Holder to review his own surveillance of journalists
. We're not even talking conflict of interest at this point, we're just talking ridiculous. He needs to do a review to determine if his own actions are problematic? How's that likely to turn out?
It would seem putting Eric Holder in charge of these investigations is like putting a shoplifter in charge of inventory.
While both Obama and Holder have talked about press freedom, they both have defended the Justice Department's actions and have not even mildly second-guessed the broad AP subpoenas or the “co-conspirator” label.
The only action they've taken so far is to push for a renewed debate on a federal shield bill that would supposedly protect the media's sources in scandals like these. Of course, the Justice Department already have the power to not subpoena reporters, they apparently just can't help themselves. As Ted Boutrous pointed out, their call for a shield bill is akin to saying “stop us before we kill again.”
How can there not be someone independent in charge of exploring this issue?